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Sons of Russia

Mackenzie Crook and Jason Isaacs explore male fragility in Russian literature. With music by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Schnittke.

Actors Mackenzie Crook and Jason Isaacs explore male fragility in Russian literature. The tensions between generations and classes are revealed with readings from Gogol, Turgenev and Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, whilst adulterous love infuses his short story The Lady with the Dog. Perhaps above all, why do these men have such an attachment to their Motherland? Why does the average Russian 'Ivan' place his country above everything else, even God? With music by Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Schnittke.

In the past decade, Mackenzie Crook has quickly established himself as a versatile character actor after appearing in the BBC TV comedy The Office and Pirates of the Caribbean films. Mackenzie reads from Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment, Gogol's The Government Inspector and Pushkin's Eugene Onegin.

Jason Isaacs, introduced to a new generation of film lovers as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, reads passages from Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and short story The Lady with the Dog, as well as extracts from Turgenev and Tolstoy.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 27 Feb 2011 22:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:00

    Lamb

    Soft Mistake [extract]

    • FONTANA 558 821-2.
  • Tyutchev

    Russia cannot be grasped with the mind, Or measured in feet and inches. For she has a special character: In Russian one can only believe. Read by Masha Karp

  • 00:01

    Trad

    Rodina Slyshit (Motherland hears)

    Performers: Dmitri Hvorostovsky (aged 11)

    • Delos DE 3339.
  • Chekhov

    The Lady with the Dog [extract] read by Jason Isaacs

  • 00:03

    Nikolai Karlovich Medtner

    Canzona Matinata in G major

    Performers: Nikolai Demidenko (piano)

    • HELIOS CDH55315.
  • Gogol

    The Government Inspector [extract] read by Mackenzie Crook

  • 00:06

    Alfred Schnittke

    Gogol Suite, VI The Bureaucrats, Allegro

    Performers: Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Lev Markiz (conductor)

    • BIS CD 557.
  • 00:09

    Lamb

    Soft Mistake [extract]

    • FONTANA 558 821-2.
  • Tyutchev

    Russia cannot be grasped with the mind, Or measured in feet and inches. For she has a special character: In Russian one can only believe. Read by Masha Karp

  • Samuel Collins

    Tales of Shibarsha [extract] read by Jason Isaacs and Mackenzie Crook

  • 00:10

    Alexander Borodin

    Prince Igor, Dance of the Polovtsian Maidens

    Performers: Kirov Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (conductor)

    • PHILIPS 446 820-2.
  • 00:12

    Trad

    Brewing Song

    Performers: The Male Choir of St Petersburg

    • EMI 7243 5 73166 2 0.
  • Chekhov

    Champagne [extract] read by Mackenzie Crook

  • 00:15

    Lamb

    Soft Mistake [extract]

    • FONTANA 558 821-2.
  • Proverb

    A person without a motherland Is like a nightingale without song. Read by Masha Karp

  • Mandelstam

    Untitled read by Jason Isaacs

  • 00:16

    Dmitry Shostakovich

    Symphony No.10, movt 2 Allegro

    Performers: Leningrad Symphony Orchestra, Yuri Temirkanov (conductor)

    • RUSSIAN DISC RD CD 11 195.
  • Pushkin

    Eugene Onegin [extract] read by Mackenzie Crook

  • 00:21

    Vlasov

    The fountain in the courtyard of Bakhchisaray

    Performers: Joan Rodgers (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano)

    • HYPERION CDA 67773.
  • Tolstoy

    War & Peace [extract] read by Jason Isaacs

  • 00:26

    Charles Mayer

    Galop militaire for four hands in E flat major

    Performers: Alexander Bakhchiyev, Yelena Sorokina (piano)

    • Chandos CHAN 9418.
  • Dostoyevsky

    Crime & Punishment [extract] read by Mackenzie Crook

  • 00:30

    Alexander Scriabin

    Prometheus (The poem of fire) (Op.60) [extract]

    Performers: Anatol Ugorski (piano), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Boulez (conductor)

    • DG 459 647-2.
  • 00:37

    Dmitry Shostakovich

    The Nose, III Zwischenakt

    Performers: Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, Michail Jurowski (conductor)

    • CAPRICCIO 10 779.
  • Lenin

    What is to be done? [extract] read by Jason Isaacs

  • 00:38

    Sergei Prokofiev

    Alexander Nevsky, Field of the dead

    Arranger: Franck Krawczyk Performers: Accentus, Laurence Equilbey (director)

    • NAÏVE V 5048.
  • 00:42

    Aram Khachaturian

    The Battle of Stalingrad, Eternal Glory to the Heroes [extract]

    Performers: Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Adriano (conductor)

    • NAXOS 8.223314.
  • Solzhenitsyn

    The Secret Life of Ivan Denisovich [extract] read by Mackenzie Crook

  • Anthony Beevor

    Stalingrad [extract] read by Jason Isaacs

  • Propaganda Slogan

    Motherland is calling! read by Masha Karp

  • 00:46

    Sergey Rachmaninov

    All Night Vigil, Vespers, Rojoice, O Virgin

    Performers: Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Paul Hillier (director)

    • HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 907384.
  • 00:49

    Gubaidulina

    Vater, ich befehle meihen from Sieben Worte (Seven Words) [extract]

    Performers: Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Mario Venzago (conductor)

    • BIS SACD 1449.
  • Tyutchev

    Russia cannot be grasped with the mind, Or measured in feet and inches. For she has a special character: In Russian one can only believe. Read by Masha Karp

  • Turgenev

    Fathers & Sons [extract] read by Jason Isaacs

  • 00:51

    Sergei Prokofiev

    String Quartet No.1, Movt 1 [extract]

    Performers: Emerson String Quartet

    • DG 431 772-2.
  • 00:51

    Gabriel Prokofiev

    String Quartet No.2, Movt 2 [extract]

    Performers: The Elysian Quartet

    • NONCLASSICAL CD 003.
  • 00:53

    Sergei Prokofiev

    String Quartet No.1, Movt 1 [extract]

    Performers: Emerson String Quartet

    • DG 431 772-2.
  • Chekhov

    The Cherry Orchard [extract] read by Jason Isaacs

  • 00:55

    Lamb

    Soft Mistake [extract]

    • FONTANA 558 821-2.
  • Tyutchev

    Russia cannot be grasped with the mind, Or measured in feet and inches. For she has a special character: In Russian one can only believe. Read by Masha Karp

  • Chekhov

    Three Sisters [extract] read by Jason Isaacs

  • 00:57

    Trad

    Rodina Slyshit (Motherland hears)

    Performers: Dmitri Hvorostovsky (aged 11)

    • Delos DE 3339.
  • Propaganda Slogan

    Translation: Warrior, answer Motherland with victory. Read by Masha Karp

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